One in five central banks say they will be using blockchain tech by 2019

Bullish on blockchain.
Bullish on blockchain.
Image: Reuters/Edgar Su
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Central banks are pretty bullish on blockchain technology, according to a new study by the Cambridge Centre for Alternative Finance. One in five central banks surveyed say they will deploy some form of blockchain tech within the next two years. Nearly 40% say the tech will be in use within a decade.

The central banks were surveyed as part of the Global Blockchain Benchmarking Study. A group of 25 central banks were included in the study, some surveyed directly by the authors, and others included based on public statements about their blockchain policies.

The main reason central banks appear to be excited about the technology is so that they can harness it to issue their own cryptocurrencies. Over 80% of central banks say they’re researching the tech for that reason.

But what protocols, precisely, are central bankers tinkering with? It’s no surprise that so-called permissioned ledgers are high on the list, but permissionless protocols such as ethereum and bitcoin put in a notable showing.

Of course, central bankers being central bankers, most won’t be drawn on how or when they’ll put the tech in place. Nearly half said they couldn’t predict a deployment timeframe for their blockchain initiatives.